Plans for Bahrain US$ 5.27 mn Smurfs Village Theme Park scrapped

Posted on 15th September 2014

Plans to build a BD 2 million (US$ 5.27 million) Smurfs' village in Bahrain have been scrapped following two years of delays. It is believed the investor behind the theme park called Mushroom Villaggio, which takes its name from the Smurfs' mushroom-style houses, could now take the project to another Gulf country, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN).

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However, the Central Municipal Council, which approved the project in September 2012, is still in the dark about the reasons behind the "unexpected" move, despite sending requests to the Central Municipality and the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.

The theme park, which was supposed to be built at the Prince Khalifa bin Salman Grand Garden in West Riffa, would have featured 30 Smurf houses, each measuring 50 sq m and able to accommodate up to 20 children at a time. The project would have also included a house belonging to Papa Smurf and a castle belonging to the Smurfs' archenemy Gargamel.

"We are sad that the investor has decided to pull out despite it being an ambitious project that we were eager, keen and enthusiastic to have," council chairman Abdulrazzak Al Hattab told the GDN.

"That project would have been the first of its kind in the region and it had a unique theme and for that I backed it from the first stage, but there was a blackout for some time and feedback stopped, before the bad news.

"No reasons have been stated and that's shocking considering that we have eased all procedures for it to be done," said the outgoing councillor.

Al Hattab said the council plans to approach several GCC businessmen to come up with new concepts for the park.

"There is huge space that could be utilised by other investors," he added. "We want strong concepts that we can support and if we are presented with any we will give them the go-ahead."

The scrapped project was based around the popular children's cartoon and Smurf characters would have been on hand to interact with visitors. Plans also included a cafe for parents, a small aquarium, horse stables, climbing area and a souvenir shop. Mushroom Villaggio would have occupied 8,350 square meters of the Prince Khalifa bin Salman Grand Garden, according to news reports in Trade Arabia.

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